Former Super Eagles Defender, Celestine
Babayaro; and teammate, Jay-Jay Okocha; will return to international
football next month, when they join forces with others, to fly Nigeria’s
flag at the inaugural International six-a-side Tournament.
According to Sky Sports, Babayaro is promising to perform his trademark celebratory backflip, if he scores for Nigeria.
The former Chelsea and Newcastle
Defender, is the latest star to be unveiled for the tournament, which
will be held at London’s O2 Arena, from July 13 to 16.
Babayaro, was famous for his acrobatics,
until it was revealed he had broken a metatarsal; but he insists it
will not stop him celebrating in style, if he scores at the Dome this
“If I score the odd goal at Star Sixes, the back-flip could well be on again”, said Babayaro.
They will kick off the tournament against China, on Thursday, July 13.
“It was a bit of a misconception that I
broke my leg, doing it after scoring for Chelsea. I had actually
fractured my fifth metatarsal on the training ground, not in the game.
But it was a story that stuck.”
Babayaro has no problem with his fitness now though, and can not wait to play for his country again this summer.
As well as China, Nigeria also faces
group encounters with Italy and Brazil, in the 12-team tournament that
features a galaxy of stars from the world of football; all recently
retired from the professional game.
Icons such as Steven Gerrard, Michael
Ballack, Roberto Carlos, Deco, Carles Puyol, Robert Pires, Rio
Ferdinand, and Marcel Desailly, will all be in action for their
countries, vying for the honour of claiming the first Star Sixes title
in the final, on Sunday, 16th July.
“It will be a new-style tournament, with
superstars from international football taking part, and I can’t wait
for it,” continued Babayaro.
“It should be really exciting for us
players, and the fans, and it will be a chance to interact with them
more than usual, doing photos and autographs.”
He added: “Putting on the green and white of the Super Eagles, will bring the memories flooding back.
“There are some great players that I
played against as well, the likes of Michael Owen, Gerrard, and David
James, so it should be a special tournament.”